Ministry to Take Action to Safeguard Lobster Population


The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is to embark on a new phase of the drive against praedial larceny, aimed at safeguarding Jamaica’s lobster population, to ensure its long term sustainability
Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dr. Marc Panton, has explained that the thrust is underpinned by revisions to the Fisheries Act, as regard fishing for lobster, particularly where this occurs outside the season, between July and March.
Speaking at the closing ceremony for the Improving Jamaica’s Agricultural Productivity Project (IJAPP) fisheries extension training course, at the Fisheries Division, Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston, on April 21, Dr. Panton pointed out that the new thrust entailed, among other things, the hiring of a Praedial Larceny Prevention Co-ordinator, pointing out that “part of his role, initially, has to do with the lobster season,” in terms of ensuring that no harvesting of lobster occurs outside of the season.
“He is putting together, in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Coast Guard/Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), a programme to go out and start to check and make sure that our restaurants and other areas that utilise lobster, are in compliance with the Fisheries Act (and) we are going to be enforcing that very aggressively,” Dr. Panton said.
“We will be out there with inspectors and, as you know, under the Fisheries Act, all JCF members, Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force are officially, fisheries inspectors. And so, they have a right to go in and inspect and be able to determine whether or not illegal activities are taking place,” he added.
The five-week training course, which was held at the Fisheries Division, formed part of the capacity building activities being implemented under IJAPP’s sustainable marine fisheries management component. Just over 30 persons, inclusive of instructors and officers, participated in the course. They will serve as extension officers to the over 40,000 fishermen and women islandwide.
The IJAPP is a three-year project, being funded at a cost of just over C$5 million by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation in Agriculture (IICA) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. In addition to the sustainable marine fisheries management component, the project will also focus on expanding green house production.

JIS Social